About NOVI

The Old Venice Inn, originally opened in Baldwin NY in 1937.  It quickly
became an integral part of Baldwin’s social scene.  It was a
neighborhood gathering place where couples shared a pizza pie, and
families dined on Italian favorites.  Many of our patrons had their
first dates here at 99 Merrick Rd.  The restaurant changed hands
several times over the years, most recently, in 2007 when ‘JR’ Russo and
his wife Kathy bought the place.   Several of the staff stayed on
under the new ownership, and a few new faces joined the team.

The name of the restaurant was changed from the Old Venice Inn,
to NOVI, or New Old Venice Inn.  This was the first in a series of
updates that ‘JR’ and his new crew would initiate.  The menu, which had
been primarily Neopolitan cuisine, was updated to add some Russo
family favorites as well as some contemporary additions.  Specials
change weekly and allow ‘JR’ and his kitchen to experiment with new as
well as old favorites.  Many cosmetic changes were made to the dining
room and bar areas at that time. (Also added a new ‘rear door’ enterance)

Loyal patrons continued to flock to NOVI. Many brought pictures
and stories of their times spent at the Old Venice while growing up in
Baldwin.  Whether it was watching pizza being made through the window,
hanging out after a high school dance, or dining out with family, it
can certainly be said that the building holds a special place in the
hearts of many.
The restaurant enjoyed success, catering to the established
clientele, while adding new customers all the time.  New menu items
became old favorites in a matter of no time…especially, the now famous
Mama’s Manicotti.  (Check your specials menu for the weekly

installments of ‘Momma’s’ antics…)

Tragically, on May 3, 2010 a fire ripped through downtown Baldwin
including Novi.  Several businesses were lost and numerous families
displaced.  Thankfully, no one was injured in the blaze.  The
restaurant sustained significant structural damage as well as major

water damage, and was forced to close.  The next 18 months marked an

extensive renovation process often slowed by weather, red tape and
circumstance, however, in ‘JR’s’ own words….EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A
REASON…..
On Wednesday, October 19th, 2011 NOVI re-opened.  The majority of
the loyal staff returned and again, a few new faces were added to the
NOVI family.  The new space is lighter, airier and more contemporary,
evocative of a NYC loft, with exposed brick and duct work.  The
spacious granite topped bar serves up your favorite libations while

you enjoy sporting events on 5 big screen TV’s.  So whether you are
out for appetizers (try the Baked Clams or Eggplant Quesadilla), wine,

cocktails, or a hearty dinner, the menu boasts something for everyone.
Favorites include Veal Soprano, Chicken Sinatra, Linguine with clam
sauce, too many to name.   NOVI offers several lighter menu items in
addition to the ‘comfort’ food it has become known for.   Of course you
can have anything Parmigiana, (and we mean anything….), or try one of
our new classic pasta selections, Carbonara, Bolognese, and Amatricana
to name a few.  The new pizza oven turns out traditional pies as well
as some new favorites.  The Sunday sauce simmers all day on the stove,
and the staff takes care of you with old fashioned friendly service
reminiscent of simpler times.
Come on down to NOVI and enjoy the best of both worlds,

delicious, made from scratch, Italian dishes served in a modern and
friendly atmosphere. Let ‘Momma’, along with ‘JR’ and his staff, take care
of you like ‘family’.  The portions are generous and the prices are
modest.  Whether it is a special occasion or a weekday evening, there
is something for all to enjoy at NOVI.